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Why Is It Called Foosball?

Posted by Watson's on Oct 29, 2020 1:00:18 PM

Most people have heard the term "foosball," but how many of us know where it originated? The strange story of how foosball came to be and why it is beloved across the world will fascinate you!

The Name "Foosball"

Foosball is an Americanized version of the German word "Fussball," which means foot and ball. If you take a closer look at the components of a traditional foosball table, you will see that the object of the game is to have your team kick the ball into your opponent's goal. 

Foosball probably came onto the world stage in the early 1900s, a companion game to soccer, which was gaining speed all over Europe. Europeans refer to soccer as football and traditional American football as "American football." Although foosball is popular in the United States, this game was likely created by Europeans. 

Foosball Origin Stories

There are plenty of people who take credit for developing foosball, but one of the most famous has to be Alexandre de Finisterre, who reportedly created the game while in the hospital. According to the story, Finisterre made the first foosball table to mimic a ping pong table. The idea must have been that foosball, like ping pong, could be a miniaturized version of a popular sport.

Finisterre might have dreamt up foosball, but Harold Searles Thornton was the first person to patent it. Thornton was a British national who patented the game in 1927. Although it didn't catch on in Thornton's time, foosball eventually became a significant global pastime between 1950 and 1980, becoming popular first in Europe and then rapidly moving to the United States. Although foosball was initially meant to be a game for children, it evolved into a grown-up sport with entire leagues developed around it.

It's easy to understand why foosball caught on so quickly. It combines angles, speed, and an existing favorite pastime. You can also control your entire team on the foosball table and lead them to victory. Like many barroom games, foosball does not require a specific amount of athletic ability or aptitude, so you can partake in the sport without really even breaking a sweat.

One thing is for sure; foosball is here to stay. These days, you can play the game in the comfort of your home with stand-alone or tabletop foosball set. Check out Watson’s foosball tables to bring one home for all of your friends and family to enjoy.

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